Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, the Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF) has stated that corruption is a barrier to poor nations for humanitarian relief, adding that it weakens the impact of governance policies.
The IMF chief disclosed this on Tuesday at the 9th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in South Korea with the theme, “Designing 2030: Truth, Trust & Transparency.” The conference focused on the role of transparency in the fight against pandemics.
Ms. Georgieva warned that the world is in a period of mass distrust of Government, citing people refusing to respond to Covid-19 measures. She also quoted former World Bank Group President, James Wolfensohn, who said “corruption diverts resources from the poor to the rich, increases the cost of running businesses, distorts public expenditures, and deters foreign investors.
She added that corruption is a barrier to inclusive development in developing nations.
“It erodes the constituency for aid programmes and humanitarian relief. And we all know that it is a major barrier to sound and equitable development,” she said.
She added that focusing on transparency is important in the fight against the pandemic since it has worsened economic recoveries globally. Every dime has to be counted for by developing economies.
She disclosed that IMF Is taking up the role in the fight against corruption, especially during the pandemic.
“And we have sought to balance the need for accountability and transparency against the need to disburse financing very quickly so doctors and nurses can be paid, and the most vulnerable people can be protected. Some of you may have heard me saying, spend what you need but keep the receipts. Accountability cannot take a back seat in this crisis.
“First, all countries receiving emergency financing from the IMF must accept a safeguards assessment of the central bank. This is an IMF assessment of a central bank’s governance and control framework to ensure that it can manage IMF resources properly,’’ she said.
She disclosed six areas where the IMF helps in the fight against corruption:
“They are fiscal governance, financial sector oversight, central bank governance, market regulation, rule of law and anti-money laundering. We also look at transnational aspects through assessments of national frameworks to limit opportunities for corruption through foreign bribery or laundering of proceeds of corruption.
“And in our work on data transparency, we urge citizens to keep track of how public money, their money is spent. Civil society has an incredibly important role to play in this work, including by helping us all to do better,’’ she said.
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported earlier this year that Nigeria dropped from 144 in 2018 to 146 in 2019 on the annual corruption perception index published by Transparency International.
- The report revealed that Nigeria ranks 146 out of the 180 countries considered, behind Botswana (34), Rwanda (51), and Mauritius (56), amongst other African nations.
- Nairametrics also reported in 2016 that a study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers revealed that Nigeria will lose 30% of its GDP to corruption by 2030.
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) indicated last month that it may release up to $99 billion to 70 emerging and developing economies to manage issues relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.